Questions to Ask the Seller of a Used Forklift

Be sure to ask these key questions when purchasing a used forklift.

Asking the Right Questions When Purchasing a Used Forklift

Interested in that used forklift for sale? Used equipment is a great way to get a quality item without having to pay full retail price for it. For businesses operating on a shoestring, it can be a smart move. However, you want to be sure that this is something that won’t cost you more in repairs than a new one would in payment installments. Here are some questions to ask the seller:

Why Are You Selling?

This is an easy question. Many high-quality forklifts are sold for reasons other than unreliability of the item. Listen to their answers, and if they have reasons that don’t suggest they need something more reliable, then you’re probably good here.

What are the Yearly Maintenance Costs and Requirements?

Is this a workhorse that can run without any maintenance effort, or is it a high-maintenance item that requires constant upgrades and work put into it? It still might be worth the price, especially if you have handy people on staff, but you’ll have to make the call.

What are the Operating Hours?

You want to know how much it has been used. This will lead you to the work that is recommended for the model at each interval of hours, and you can follow up by asking if those tune-up items have been completed yet. Be certain to ask for documentation on any work that you want them to do. In some cases, if you have the staff who can do the tune-ups, you might ask them to hold off and negotiate more of a discount on the forklift.

Have You Had any Problems?

This is a great question to get in writing. If there is a major safety issue, they are required to disclose this. If you have later problems that was tied back to that nondisclosure, you have the paper trail needed to show that you were not informed, but should have been. Though most of this will be found in a test drive and look-through, it never hurts to be safe.